November 2002

Volume 6  

 

November 2, 2002

Celebrity Stalkers

For the second time a rapper has been shot in the lobby of a recording studio, but this time fatally. Jason Mizell of Run DMC was fatally wounded in the lobby of his studio. Eight years prior to that, another rapper, Tupac Shakur was shot in the lobby of a recording studio and survived his injuries, but was killed a few years later in a drive by shooting. A year later rapper Notorious BIG was killed in a drive by shooting as well. 

Some feel if they had better security they would be alive today...maybe. Mizell had security in his studio, but the person that would murder him was buzzed into the studio, leading people to believe he knew his attacker. 

These deaths can't be blamed on poverty as some love to say. These men were not poor at the time of their deaths. However, it can be blamed on a certain mentality. If a person has no respect for human life and are consumed with bad intentions, they will not be afraid of killing someone even though it is clearly wrong.

There are people who go after entertainers with such determination and tenacity that it is genuine cause for alarm. Often, people want to meet singers, actors, politicians and other known people and in most cases nothing bad happens. People send letters or emails telling them they appreciate their work and most entertainers appreciate that (it is ungrateful not to). However, it becomes dangerous when that admiration turns into stalking. 

There are celebrities and politicians who have been killed by stalkers. Former President John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated by stalkers. The former Prime Minister of Israel Yitzhak Rabin was also assassinated by a stalker. 

Several years ago, I read an article about an actress named Rebecca Schaffer who was murdered by a stalker that knocked on her front door. I've remembered that story since then. She was a new, pretty actress who was killed by a stalker that was in love with her. Prior to killing her, he even threatened if he couldn't have her no one would. 

John Lennon was killed by a stalker posing as a fan. Hours prior to killing him outside his apartment building, his would be attacker stopped him on his way out, asked him for an autograph, which he signed. A few hours later when Lennon returned, the stalker shot him in front of the apartment  building. 

Selena, was a rising Tejano singer who was killed by her fan club manager when she discovered she was stealing from her company. Jill Dando, a British news reporter was killed on her doorstep by a man that stalked her. Monica Seles was stabbed by a stalker at a tennis match. Dan Rather was attacked while walking on the street.

There have also been kidnapping threats made against celebrities and their family members. Today I read about another case where a group of people were plotting the kidnapping of a singer, but the plan was foiled by police.   

There have been cases of people claiming they are the celebrity's spouse, girlfriend or relative when they clearly are not. That is a sign of mental illness. Dr Lorraine Sheridan who is a lecturer in psychology at the University of Leicester stated "...some who go as far as to think that they actually are having a relationship with the celebrity - a psychiatric condition called erotomania." Many celebrities are stalked by people suffering from erotomania also known as De Clerambault's syndrome.

Spouses, children and girlfriends of entertainers have been threatened. There are people who verbally and or physically fight over entertainers they do not even date and have no connection to. Some singers laugh at that, but some of them are unstable and when rejected become violent. That paired with jealousy is a dangerous combination. 

I read about a pregnant singer's fiancé being threatened and almost attacked by a group of teenagers who liked her boyfriend and his band. Even though the young lady was pregnant, that didn't deter them from verbally and almost physically attacking her for the simple fact that she was his fiancé. They have since gotten married. There are stories of singers getting married and people crying hysterically outside the wedding because they wanted to marry them.

In my opinion some celebrities are too accessible and that is dangerous. I've seen celebrities in situations that seemed risky. Celebrities who sometimes encounter people who unbeknownst to them are dangerous. Eerily, months before Lennon was killed, he was interviewed and commented on how  great it was being able to go to the movies or restaurant without too much attention. 

When you become famous you have to make certain sacrifices and changes. Not everyone will mean you well. Most people are harmless, but quite a few aren't. Some are mentally unstable and irrational. What is normal to them could mean harming you. 

However, some people are not crazy, they are envious, bitter, resentful and jealous and would attack you for those reasons. They look at the short comings in their life and resent others who have achieved more or are in a relationship with someone they have feelings for. 

The east coast/west coast dispute that surfaced in rap music a few years ago was based on jealousy and culminated in two rappers being killed before they reached the age of 26. Their deaths were senseless. Once again, the devil playing people for fools. However, God can forgive the people responsible for those tragedies. 

How do you assess who is a risk and who is not. Some people issue threats and try to carry them out, while some attacks happen without warning. Security expert Gavin DeBecker stated "Direct threats are not a reliable pre-incident indicator for public figure attack, as demonstrated by the fact that not one successful public-figure attacker in the history of the media age directly threatened his victim first."

 


November 4, 2002

Lack Of Talent

Have you ever noticed that people get upset when singers or actors they feel lack talent becomes successful (I wrote about that a few months ago). People deem it an injustice. I don't get annoyed at those things, but it is understandable why people get upset.   

Television Talent Shows

Talent competition shows on television - it's one thing to be a musician, but it's quite another to set out to create an idol, a pop star or an icon. That's not about making music, it's about creating a figure for people to idolize and worship. I'm not taking a dig at these shows, but the concept behind them and the titles such as idol dishonor God. That is wrong. I do not agree with idolatry. The Bible says it's a sin and an offense to God.    

Music should be something that is natural and not contrived. Yes, there are talented people on these shows and behind the scenes, but often the music that is spawned from it comes across as manufactured, prefabricated with little or no credibility. 

On to another subject, since I was about 8 years old, I've noticed a lot of people who work in the industry don't understand music. It sounds strange for an 8 year old to think that way, and I don't write that out of arrogance, but I did notice that. I was raised in the industry, so it was normal to me. 

Even at that age, I realized it's not a predictable business. I also realized at that age that a lot of my favorite singers stopped putting out records because they lost their record deals, due to declining sales. Records and films succeed or fail for so many reasons. It's a tough industry. Anyone can learn the jargon, anyone can follow procedure and instructions, but not many executives know about music and films and that is something that is a gift.   

Singer Kidnap Plot Foiled

Saturday I wrote about a plot I read in the paper to kidnap a singer, which was foiled by police (see November 2nd). Well, today it was announced that the alleged kidnappers have been granted bail. This could not be pleasant for the singer especially considering they wanted to kidnap her and her two children for a ransom of almost 8 million dollars. The alleged kidnappers are not entitled to that money, nor should anyone be extorting money from people.

The singer and her family installed a $400,000 security system and hired several bodyguards prior to this because there was a kidnapping threat issued once before. These types of security measures are being used more by quite a few entertainers. The average system costs $250,000. It's sad that people have to do all that to protect themselves. Prayer does change things.


November 6, 2002

Inappropriate Radio Station Pranks

I was reading an article about DJ's getting into trouble. I remember one incident I read about a few months ago, where a prank went awry and a listener died from a heart attack at the station. I thought it was particularly sad. It was a senseless tragedy. 

These outlandish stunts are done to get ratings, but they often go wrong. Some of them are even sacrilegious such as the incident where a DJ encouraged two listeners to have sex in a church. Subsequently, that DJ was fired and the two listeners were arrested.   

Are Your Lyrics Of God

People often believe that success is the music industry is an indication of God's blessing and approval of what they sing or rap about. That's not always the case. Proof being that there are satanic rock groups that sell millions of records and win awards. That certainly was not of God. He definitely does not approve of such lyrics. 

So, even though an act may thank God for their music, it doesn't mean He approves of the lyrical content. God loves us, but doesn't approve of everything we do if it contradicts the Bible. There are artists who thank God for their lyrics or album and have been criticized for it because the lyrical content is questionable (containing expletives and or raunchy lyrics). While it is true that God did not give them those questionable lyrics, I do not like to discourage anyone in their faith in God. I prefer to encourage people to change what they are doing wrong. 

Sometimes people don't realize what they are doing is wrong and once they know, they change and that's good. It is what the Bible refers to as repentance. So, don't condemn anyone, encourage them to change for the better.

I've also heard lyrics where people refer to God in their songs wondering if He can forgive their sins. I don't like hearing people tormented like that. He can forgive their sins if they ask Jesus for forgiveness. It is good that your conscience is even telling you to want forgiveness because everyone needs it. You also have to change your ways as well and if you do make a mistake again in the future, you should ask for forgiveness again. We should not make it a habit of making the same mistakes though. The key is to not give up and feel like you are hopeless because you are not. 

Another thing I've noticed people oppressed by is believing in such things as tea leaves, séances, horoscopes, fortune tellers and psychics. None of those things are of God. The Bible actually says that it is a sin. It's not something God likes, so it is best to ignore and not listen to such things because they will only mislead you and bring unnecessary anxiety and sadness in to your life.


November 8, 2002

Unlikely Hit

Have you ever seen a song go to the top of the charts or sell a lot of records that seemed an unlikely hit and wondered to yourself just who is buying that song why it's selling so much. I better shut up, maybe I will write or put out a song by someone one day that might seem a bit naff. When you feel good about what you do, you can afford to do that though.  

Isn't it ironic when the soundtrack does better than the film. 

Entourages

Why do some entertainers have entourages with so many people. If it costs you more to fly and house your entourage than you make on the gig that day, it's time to reevaluate a few things.

Sleeping Your Way To The Top

Women who use men to get into the industry do so at their own risk. It's morally wrong and the public never looks upon it favorably. It also detracts from any success you have. People don't view it as earned. 


November 23, 2002

Psychological Terrorism

There are articles and reports about the threat of bio-chemical attacks from terrorists. Some journalists have concluded that the terrorists are trying to make people afraid and paranoid of what they would do next, as opposed to actually doing something. However, I think it's both. I think they really are plotting something. 

After all, it was reported in the news that they tried to rent a crop duster which was thought to be an attempt to spread bio-chemical germs. It has also been confirmed that certain terrorists have access to these biochemical weapons. When you think about it, yes they really are conducting psychological warfare by trying to instill terror in people's minds, but after September 11th, it is evident that they want to carry out their threats.  

Singer Kidnapping Plot Foiled

Remember the kidnapping plot against a singer I wrote about on November 2nd and 4th. Well, recently her husband met the Queen of England and she offered him security advice. That was very kind of her, but I thought to myself, wow you know you are in trouble when the Queen gives you security advice. I'm just kidding. I pray they singer and her family will be safe.

I also read where someone said the singer's husband who is also famous should step out of the spotlight to prevent further threats. However, I don't think that's the solution. People can't live their lives hiding because of a few unscrupulous people. Even CEO's who aren't in the spotlight receive similar threats.


November 26, 2002

Tell All Books 

I wrote about them on June 13th. Last week a musician revealed in his autobiography that he was a drug dealer years ago and now the FBI is opening an investigation on the claims made in his book. He admitted to dealing drugs and now he might be prosecuted for it or be required to give over information and contacts to the government and or testify, which would endanger his life. I thought it quite ironic because most people get into trouble while they are dealing, not years after.  

In a separate case, a publishing house and a journalist are being sued for a tell all biography they published on a deceased singer. The family of the deceased singer declined requests for interviews for the biography and subsequently the author made several unsupported claims in the book. Well, now the family is suing them for libel and defamation for the inaccuracies contained in the book. 

Posthumous Albums

Posthumous albums usually do well on the charts. However, a member of a singing group died recently and the remaining group members released a project after her passing, but the sales aren't as high as their previous albums. I think it was a combination of the group not being the same without her and the material not being as popular as their previous songs. 

Posthumous albums are strange. I think they are very sad. They remind the public that the singer is no longer here, despite the fact that new material is being released. The artist will not promote in magazines or on television like other artists because they have passed. It makes you think of what could have been especially if the singer died young. Not so much in their careers, but more in their personal lives. Things like getting married and raising children. 

People lift up celebrities and see them as invincible and they are not. They are human beings. They are not God. Bad things happen to famous people and non famous people all the time. Yet, subconsciously many people feel that nothing bad can happen to a celebrity and that's just not true. 

These albums are a strange concept that people sometimes don't want to think about, for it is a reminder that the individual has passed and makes them face their own mortality. We should be thankful for each day God gives us and not waste it. 

We will all leave this earth and face God one day. I encourage you to put your faith in Jesus, ask him for forgiveness for your sins and change your ways. We all have sinned. The Bible says so. Most people know that without knowing that verse from the Bible because they know they have done things that aren't right. God can forgive you if you ask. We all have to face Him one day, why not make sure you are right with Him rather than being eternally separated from Him when you die.

   

 

 


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